Ellie Nieves
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Women's Leadership Speaker & Coach

If you are a college or a graduate student, you are certainly thinking about future career development strategies. You’ve made a substantial investment of time and money to develop skills that will lead to a job with meaningful work opportunities. When you start to venture out to establish your career, you need advice and guidance that goes beyond how to update your Linkedin profile and tap into your alumni network.

It's important to understand that advancing in your career alone doesn't equal career development, and just because you're developing doesn't mean that you're going to advance. In fact career development and care advancement are different terms entirely.

"Career development refers to the larger-scale trajectory of a professional’s career — how she grows in her roles, the skills she gains, the training she receives, and the different positions she holds," writes Fairygodboss contributor, Laura Berlinsky-Schine. "Career advancement, on the other hand, generally signifies someone taking the next step, which usually entails receiving a promotion or new work opportunity."

A successful career doesn’t happen without putting in thought and effort to develop. You really need to be planning, tending, and frequenting review in order to grow in the workplace.

Here are five career development strategies that five successful women have adopted:

1. Have clear expectations for yourself.

Kathy Thornton-Bias is president and chief operating officer of Verlo Mattress. She has also been included on Essence Magazine's Game Changers: The Power List and Ebony’s Ebony Power 100. She was very clear early in her career of what she expected from herself. She says that she told herself: “If you’re going to work, then you might as well be in charge.” With that expectation of herself, Thorton-Bias proceeded to seek experience and take on roles that would foster executive leadership.

2. Work hard, believe in yourself and don’t give up.

Vivienne Jurado is an award-winning actress known for her role as "Dr. Sandra Peterson" in the award-winning feature film "Dirty Shield" and she recently appeared in the role of a defense attorney in the NBC drama "Shades of Blue." Vivienne has been working in the competitive entertainment industry since she was a teen. She believes that you should persistently pursue what you love to develop your craft. Vivienne has a success formula that has guided her career development: Perseverance + Hard Work + Talent x Luck = Success. Vivienne says if you work hard, believe in yourself and don’t give up, you will achieve success.

3. Be a leader worth following.

Jennifer Bennett is a social media marketing expert. She’s a Communication Specialist for iBloom, a business consultancy that is revolutionizing the way women do business and live life. In the age of social media, Dr. Bennett says that people follow leaders both online and offline who have a clear understanding of who they are. So, as you grow your career don’t compare yourself or try to be like someone else. Instead, be a leader worth following by being your authentic self.

4. Step outside of your comfort zone.

Kelly Lyndgarrd is the Founder and CEO of Unshattered, a social enterprise that employees women in recovery to have them build a path toward economic independence and sustained sobriety. Before launching Unshattered Kelly was an executive at a multinational corporation where she learned that you’re not growing if you’re not uncomfortable. Kelly advises others to step outside of their comfort zones to take ownership of stretch assignments that will set a foundation for career success.

5. Live and act today, but strategize for the long-term future.

Dana Rubin is a consultant who trains professional women to become known for their expertise and influence in the market place of ideas. Dana recognizes that there is a natural tension that goes along with living for today, but planning for tomorrow. But, she believes that living with that tension is essential for career growth.

If you still think you need more advice planning for your career, considering taking a look at this list of the 10 Most Effective Career Planning Strategies by Career Addict. You'll learn how to do everything from asking for feedback and conducting regular self-assessment to making manageable career goals, settling milestones for yourself and creating vision boards. You could also check out career development programs that'll help you define career paths for yourself, set long-term goals and come up with an effective career strategy to achieve those long-term goals.

Have you ever used any of the aforementioned career planning strategies from these powerful women who've forged successful career paths for themselves? Did you find them effective in achieving your long-term career goals? What other career-building strategies do you recommend?

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Ellie Nieves, JD, MBA, develops webinars, seminars, and coaching programs to help high achieving women show up, speak up, and step up in their careers. She is also the host of the Leadership Strategies for Women Podcast where she shares success tips to help women achieve more both personally and professionally. To learn more, go to: www.EllieNieves.com